Unlike sculptors and painters who work directly on the final product of their creative endeavor, the architectural practice requires a distinct medium that can translate ideas from conceptualization to realization, and architectural representation itself becomes a work of architecture. The floor plans serve as a means of exploration within the body of an architect’s practice and at the same time, it is the record of work that communicates with others.

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The evolution of architectural representation is analogous with the evolution of architecture itself that from the purist paintings to virtual reality; architects devised diverse kinds of representation modes according to the complexity and objectives of their design. Hence, despite the myriad of digital tools, no representation technique could be considered obsolete and architects have to carefully choose their representation style to enhance their design translation.

Here are five creative ways of representing a floor plan in architecture:

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1. Federico Babina’s Archiplan Illustration | Floor Plans 

Floor plans are abstracted into simplified geometric elements with walls extruded from the base surface. Even though abstracted, the archiplans speak multitudes about the building such as the spatial volume, configuration of built mass, degree of intimacy, and exposure of spaces, quality of light and shades, etc., due to the added third dimension.

Moreover, it is emblematic of the architects’ artistic and aesthetic approach to the particular building, even in its minimal abstracted form. Representation of floor plans using this technique is most apt for depicting the projects which involve a play of volumes and geometry of spaces.

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Archiplan ©www.archdaily.com
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Archiplan ©www.archdaily.com
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Archiplan ©www.archdaily.com

2. Artist Book

The Artist book is a medium of expression that creatively utilizes the features of the book as a physical object or induces ‘bookness’ in presenting an architectural design. Each page of the book is considered as a site on which spaces are crafted by manipulating the paper using different techniques such as laser cutting, embossing, etching, etc. The drawings are endowed with a conceptual character and a page becomes a three-dimensional space.

These pages could be related through creative formats and its cumulation offers a codex-based sequence of not pages but spaces, thus documenting time and movement as well. It can be three-dimensional to accommodate the volume of spaces, acting even as a folded model. The tactility of turning the pages makes the representation a narrative experience by inviting, disclosing, and imbibing textural qualities to the presentation. Artist books are most adaptable for architectural documentation.

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Mies van der Rohe: Built houses ©www.academia.edu
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Houses in the Museum Garden: Biography of an Exhibition ©www.academia.edu
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Mies van der Rohe: Brick Country House 1924 ©www.academia.edu

3. Axonometric drawings

Axonometric drawings serve as a technique to explore, express, and investigate complex architectural concepts. It is a type of orthographic projection in which the object is rotated about one or more of its axes to reveal multiple sides and dimensions. This type of representation provides scope to appreciate the volume, facades, and context of the building along with it. Depicting architectural elements beyond the foreground suggests a revelation of the dynamics of the neighborhood, thus accentuating the response of the building to its surrounding.

The exploded axonometric representation of the floor plan has an unparalleled quality to present the spatial volume and organization of floors at multiple levels, their relationship, connectivity, and layers of the spaces within the building. These are extremely useful to depict the components of the building, materials, construction, and joinery details. Axonometric representation has both conceptual and technical quality.

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Axonometric plan ©www.pinterest.co.uk
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Axonometric drawing showing layers of building components ©www.archdaily.com
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Axonometric drawing exploded to show construction details ©www.archdaily.com

4. Representing Plan as GIF Images

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images support animation in presentation, thus, helping to incorporate movement. This format allows for the presentation of floor plans from its evolving stage to the finished phase, therefore, extending the functionality and meaning of the plan by presenting the process of the genesis of the building. GIF format for plans could also be used to present exploded views out of floor plans. Moreover, the time sequence of the GIF enables to make the representations lucid by presenting each of the components of a space turn by turn.

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5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality | Floor Plans

With the evolution of architecture into more complex forms and geometry, the plans have turned into a game of multiple relationships among the connected surfaces of the forms. Hence, to understand the quality and functionality of spaces, conventional orthographic projections cannot succeed to communicate the complexity inherent in those kinds of spaces. Presenting a floor plan as a virtual 3D model enables the users to physically engage with space the same way as he does with the real world. This advanced technological aid helps one to change, reform, and reorganize it, and also to rethink any design moves.

In augmented reality and hologram, virtual reality invades the material world, bringing both them closer and converting it into a hybrid space where both realities exist in the same environment. These are preludes to the future opportunities for architects and clients to device a man-to-space relationship, in which space evolves in front of them with the intended accurate forms, textures, and environment.

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Augmented reality ©www.archdaily.com
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Augmented reality ©www.autodesk.com
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Virtual reality experience through Oculus Rift ©www.dezzain.com

 

Author

A student architect who is deeply interested in architectural journalism, research and education. She is a classical dancer along with a profound passion for music and literature. This ardent reader firmly believes in ones karma and strives to forge a self identity in her mastering domains.

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